We’re Sorry.

Our Co-founders statement – and long-overdue apology regarding our ‘Female’ beer collaboration in 2018 with Mikkeller

We fucked up. 

This statement is way overdue. However, it’s high time that we acknowledge and address the criticism of our project with Mikkeller in 2018 that’s resurfaced around the current discussions of sexism in the craft beer industry.

We’re writing this today (Nick and Danny, co-founders of Girls Are Awesome) to acknowledge the fuck up and poor handling of the ‘Female’ beer project we did with Mikkeller in 2018, and the frustration and hurt that our actions – and inactions – caused as a result.

We’re sorry. We apologise for the lazy and tone-deaf name and branding of the product, and the fact there was no impact built into the project for the groups who should have been centered and celebrated by it. We recognise how the name and branding can have harmed women, trans and non-binary people’s right to be taken seriously in the industry and elsewhere, and perpetuate sexist tropes. We apologise to all the signatories of the open letter, and its author, Lena Rutkowski. We apologise to people within the craft beer industry and beyond. There’s no excuse – it shouldn’t have happened because we should’ve known better, and we’re sincerely sorry. 

We also apologise for our silence. To say we handled things poorly is an understatement. In the moment, not knowing how to deal with everything, we froze.

We know that this statement doesn’t undo the past, the product or our handling of it, and the frustration and hurt it caused. It was also a wake up call for us that, together with other lessons learned over the past three years, have shaped the way we operate today. It’s pretty clear that a lot of the mistakes we made were indicative of a lack of diversity on the team at the time, and that’s just not good enough. We’ve since made changes.

We hired our amazing equity partner Søs Bondo to run Girls Are Awesome as Brand Director, and implemented our partnership principles which ensure we and any partners are held accountable to our goal of creating projects that empower or elevate individuals or a community, prioritise diversity, and aim for gender-balanced teams on both sides of the table.

Since 2018, we’ve added five women and one man to the team, both Danes and internationals, from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds. As founders, the two of us may have a say on some things, but our team and Brand Director make the final call. We say no to partnerships that don’t look to genuinely provide a positive impact for girls, women and anyone who identifies as such, and we invest time and money in educating ourselves together.

This is a learning journey not only for us, but also for Girls Are Awesome as a company, and we don’t pretend to be anywhere near the end of it. Girls Are Awesome is a conversation starter. That means showcasing role models, writing articles, hosting events, recording podcasts, creating videos, developing products and working with our corporate partners on projects that increase representation and level the playing field for girls, women and trans and non-binary people.

We believe in progress not perfection, and understand our small role in working towards a more balanced and equitable society. We may fuck up again but we hope we will acknowledge and deal with our mistakes in a better way than we did back in 2018.

Nick and Danny
Co-Founders, Girls Are Awesome


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